Bringing Sustainable Happiness to Life
Innovative Educator – George Couros

By Evelyn Zankowski • June 11, 2016

George Couros, author of the Innovator’s Mindset, is the focus of Evelyn Zankowski’s inquiry into innovative educators – and with good reason! It’s heartening (and not the least bit surprising) to know that the Winnipeg School Division is encouraging innovation in education. (Catherine O’Brien)

An interesting question that George asked teachers to reflect upon was, “Would you want to spend the whole day learning in your own classroom?” Teachers need to take risks and learn to keep up with the changing technological advances. Evelyn Zankowski


On May 9, 2016 I was very fortunate to attend a professional day seminar featuring George Couros as the guest presenter.  Mr. Couros spoke to approximately 2100 teachers from every school in the Winnipeg School Division. The topic of the seminar was, Exploring Innovative Teaching, Learning and Leadership Strategies. He also spent time within the division consulting with small teacher groups. Although George had a very busy schedule in Winnipeg he did find time for me to conduct a short interview. 

  • George Couros is the Division Principal of Innovative Teaching and Learning for Parkland School Division. He has worked with all levels of school from K-12 as a teacher, technology facilitator, and school based administrator. He additionally co-facilitates Great Leaders, Great Teams, Great Results leadership training, is a leader on the effective use of social media to improve student learning. He is a sought after speaker on the topic of innovative student learning and engagement. George is also the creator of the Connected Principals blog site as well as the founder of Connected Canada. His focus is to help organizations create optimal learning environments for innovation within schools.


-When George was asked to accept the position of division Principal of Innovative Teaching and Learning he had to address some specific questions for himself. What is innovation and what does it look like?  When students have the world at their fingertips what are they going to do with it to make the world better? George believes that, innovation often begins and ends with empathy. Technology can build relationships and create positive sharing of ideas and opportunities. Social media can be used to help student learning by  developing an understanding of global connections, it can create possibilities for student exploration and reflection.

-Changing the way educators think about innovation was a barrier that he needed to address in his new role. He had to help teachers see the potential in innovation and change the mindset of how many teachers teach or react to a digitally global way of teaching. The way in which children learn and discover is changing and teachers need to ask themselves, what’s best for the kids? An interesting question that George asked teachers to reflect upon was, “Would you want to spend the whole day learning in your own classroom?” Teachers need to take risks and learn to keep up with the changing technological advances.

-By connecting with others, schools can foster more creativity and innovation. Teachers need to be open to learning from others. The sharing of resources and ideas on a global scale is important. Educators need to move from a ‘fixed’ mindset to a ‘growth’ mindset. We need to see the ‘world wide web’ as more than just a place to teach/learn programs, but rather a place that can incorporate innovate ideas, excitement and deeper reflection in students. George says, that change starts from within each person, we need to be open to new learning opportunities. That means using all of the technological tools around us and as educators helping our students to navigate these tools.

-Being more socially and globally aware develops empathy and then the hopefully the desire to help others. This in turns helps contribute to social, economic, cultural, or environmental health and well-being. There are children using social media all over the world to connect with others and to be noticed, it is important for adults to properly guide them.

Read the rest of Evelyn’s article at:

Twitter copy

Educ for SH and WB cover copy







udemy Yellow Swallow Tail ButterflyIf you are interested in exploring sustainable happiness, consider signing up for the online sustainable happiness course! It’s a great way to enhance your own happiness and wellbeing! There are 35 short videos (mini lectures) and 15 activities to deepen learning. These are also great resources for teaching about sustainable happiness. Use the coupon code SH4Teachers to get 50% off!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *